Nicci Morris

Time to slow it down…

In Entertaining, Food, Recipes on September 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm
Photo by Susan Boyer

Photo by Susan Boyer

As I look out of the kitchen window, I’m amazed at the beauty of the changing leaves. What was once supple and green is now crisp, red and orange. The tree tops contrast sharply with the gray, cloudy sky, as if they have been set ablaze by Mother Nature.

It’s time to fire up my slow cooker.

I feel the need for serious comfort food as the temperature outside drops. One of my favorite slow-cooker meals is country ribs and beans. I start by seasoning and searing the meat in a super-hot cast iron skillet to get nice color and flavor and then put it in the slow cooker with the beans, a little hot sauce (for the salt and the heat), more spices, water and some chicken stock. By dinner, it is falling-off the bone perfection. I also serve a big salad and cornbread to round out the meal.

Are you ready to turn on your slow cooker? Do you have an old-school version, or is yours a newfangled, stainless steel one, replete with the digital settings? More importantly, what are you putting in yours? Try my recipe for white chicken chili. It’s sure to warm your belly and satisfy your comfort-food craving. I often serve this on big game days. I love to put a line of bowls filled with garnish near the slow cooker so people can top their chili with their favorite add-ins.

White Chik’n Chili

1 package Morningstar Meal Starters Chik’n Strips

2 large onions, medium chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

Three 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (one can reserved)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Three 15 oz cans low-sodium chicken broth

Hot sauce to taste (I use lots! About 1/4 cup)

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Two 4 oz cans green chilies, chopped

Garnish (optional):

Grated cheese

Sour cream

Green onions, sliced

pickled jalapeno pepper slices

Tortilla chips

A spicy, cheesy jalapeño cornbread (I’ll share my low-fat recipe for this soon…)

Using a stick blender, blend one can of the beans and add mashed beans to thicken the chili. Place all ingredients into the crock of your slow cooker, about 2-5 hours depending on your slow cooker. Ladle into bowls and add desired garnish and serve hot.


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